School nurse encourages Covid booster shots

With age lowered to 12, students in all four grades are eligible


Addison Bakemeyer

On the morning of Jan. 7, school nurse Mrs. Marianne Vogt ’86 works in her office in Kelly Hall.

Ashlynn Bakemeyer, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The age limit for those who can receive the Covid-19 booster was lowered to 12 earlier this week, which means all high school students are now eligible for a second jab. 

School nurse Mrs. Marianne Vogt ‘88 said, “The booster is supposed to help with the latest variants. When we got the vaccine, it was for the worst kind of Covid that we had at the beginning. They’ve had to adjust it a little bit each time we get a new variant.”

One of the recent is the Omicron variant. Vogt said, It looks like Omicron is much more mild for the most part with adults and older kids, like high school kids. But for younger kids it’s been much harder. The most hospitalizations of children in Indiana ever, is from Omicron. It’s probably because (children who are) 2 to 5 (years old) don’t have the vaccine, and a lot of them under 12 don’t have it. It seems to be worse for children. For people who are vaccinated, it’s super mild.”

In order for the minimal age to be lowered, Vogt said, “They have to do a clinical trial in every age group. Normally, trials last a couple years, but with Covid being so scary and difficult to treat, they’ve bumped those up to six months or so. They get people whose kids take it and they study them for a few months to see if there’s any bad reaction to the vaccine, and then they release it (to those age groups).”

There could be several various boosters in the future to combat new variants. Vogt said, “It could be something we’re asked to get every time there’s a new variant, every six months, they don’t really know until the next one happens. It definitely is making it more effective against the Omicron variant.”

Vogt said that she realizes that deciding whether to receive the vaccine is a personal choice for families and parents who have to make the decision for their children under 18 years old. However, she said she wants to reassure families that this vaccine will do more good than harm. Vogt said, “The big thing about Covid and this vaccine is that it is not a brand new vaccine. It’s been trialed for years. It’s new where they made it specifically to Covid-19, but they’ve had a vaccine for the SARS Covid virus for a while. It’s just new for this specific trait of Covid.”

Vogt said, “People should look really closely at getting vaccinated. Especially with high school kids, you can look things up and know the facts and try to talk to your parents about what you want to do. Unvaccinated people will have to keep quarantining, and that doesn’t seem like it’s going away.”